The Last Good Day of the Year

— feeling big smile
The Last Good Day Of The Year - Jessica Warman

It was New Years Eve and his suit was all too familiar, the bright red with the white fur outlining his coat, the beard was the dead giveaway but this guy was way too skinny and given the timeline, he really should be in the North Pole. Upon further investigation, his actions were all wrong for his character, as he appeared inside their house, snatching up their little sister and never returning her. Yes, Santa took their sister. Actually it was Steven, Gretchen’s former boyfriend dressed up like Santa who committed this horrible crime, it was his teeth that led investigators to him. It was the summer of 1985 and Jessica Warman allows us, as readers, to relive this terrible time in history through the eyes of Sam, the sister of Turtle the child who was abducted. Sam was there that night and claims she saw Santa/Steven take Turtle. What shocked me was that Gretchen is Sam and Turtle’s older sister, her boyfriend was the offender.   What an issue to deal with as a family.   Sam had a great friend and neighbor, Remy who was her everything. They were inseparable growing up and even now dealing with this tragic event, he had her back. It reminded me of the days growing up, having a best friend who was always there day and night just outside your door, that you could run over and talk to on the stoop or just be silly with for no reason at all, that was Sam and Remy. This terrible event causes the family to move away, an author writes a book highlighting the event surrounding the abduction and then years later the family must return to the house they had rented out, for they have no other option. Remy and Sam’s relationship is distant, this feeling I was not ready for. What caused this distance between them, I adored their relationship but I knew Warman had more in store for me; she was always full of surprises. As Sam helps Remy’s mother with some cleaning she uncovers some photos which brings back some childhood memories, I love how she cherishes those memories even when her relationship with Remy is challenged at the moment. Retreating to the tree house she once shared with him, comfort and the nostalgia surrounding her, she reminisces about her childhood afternoons they spent there. I long for their relationship to get back on track, are they ignoring each other for a reason? This novel is a comfortable, relaxing mystery shifting from the present day when the family returns to their home where the abduction took place and then back in history when the actual abduction took place. Jessica Warman is one of my favorite author’s and although this one is not one of my favorites of hers, it really had a lot of twists, surprises and was great read on a rainy day.